Bowl Projections: Best Non-BCS Bowl Matchups Fans Should Hope for

Stephen SheehanCorrespondent IDecember 2, 2012

Johnny Manziel could pull off the rare feat of winning the Heisman as a freshman.
Johnny Manziel could pull off the rare feat of winning the Heisman as a freshman.Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

Everyone already knows Alabama and Notre Dame are set for a BCS Championship showdown, but beyond the well-known BCS bowls are some intriguing potential non-BCS bowl matchups. 

Whether it's South Carolina, Michigan, Georgia or USC, some of the most exciting teams in the country should be playing in non-BCS bowls. 

So when the bowl selections are made, what matchups should fans be hoping for? 

Let's take a look.


Capital One Bowl: Nebraska vs. Georgia

Saturday couldn't have been more disheartening for both of these teams. 

Nebraska suffered an old-fashioned whooping at the hands of Wisconsin, while the Bulldogs came within five yards and a few seconds of earning a trip to the national championship game. 

Both teams ultimately came up short in their conference championship games, but a showdown in the Capital One Bowl would provide fans with an exciting experience. 

Mark Richt's squad features a bunch of NFL-ready defenders in John Jenkins, Alec Ogletree and Jarvis Jones, and seeing the Bulldogs' defense try and shut down dual-threat quarterback Taylor Martinez would be a great test. 

On the other side of the ball, Georgia has the best freshman running back in the country in Todd Gurley, who racked up 122 yards and two scores against Alabama. 

These two teams play smash-mouth football, so fans who love big hits and tough running should be hoping for this matchup. 


Outback Bowl: Michigan vs. South Carolina  

Between Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, there may not be two better pure athletes in the country. 

Robinson's spark has dulled since a fantastic 2011 season, but the multidimensional threat is still one of the best playmakers in the game. 

Despite a rather poor season throwing the ball, Robinson still dominated on the ground, finishing 33rd in the nation in rushing yards (1,166), an astounding achievement for a quarterback. 

Shutting down Robinson would be priority No. 1 for Steve Spurrier's squad, but he has just the ammunition to do it with super sophomore Clowney. 

The 6'6", 256-pounder finished his second season of college football with 50 total tackles (21.5 for loss) and 13 sacks, cementing himself as the premier defensive end in the game.

Watching the freakishly gifted Clowney try and chase down the fleet-footed Robinson would be a matchup for the ages. 


Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Clemson vs. Texas A&M 

If you love offense, then you'll be itching to see Johnny Football vs. Clemson's trio of Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins. 

Freshman Johnny Manziel has captivated the college football world with his sensational running and passing abilities, positioning himself as the Heisman Trophy favorite. 

His 3,419 passing yards and team-leading 1,181 rushing yards have made the Aggies' transition to the SEC seamless. 

Clemson's best shot at stopping Manziel wouldn't be with its defense, but rather with its high-powered offense. 

The Tigers feature a bevy of future NFL stars in Watkins, Hopkins and running back Andre Ellington.

If a shootout is what you're looking for, look no further than this terrific offensive matchup.